Some feminists believe playing with Barbie leads to body dissatisfaction and the desire for breast implants.
Now I know some of you are thinking, Oh come on, she’s only a harmless doll. An icon from the twentieth century. It’s not like she’s Chucky! Let her play in peace! Put on her Pilates outfit and let’s all calm down!
Well, we probably could if women in media looked less like dolls than people. Barbie is only one of a plethora of images young girls are exposed to daily.
So if Barbie could speak her mind, here’s what I think she would say. And since Barbie has over 100 careers, let’s consult Psychologist Barbie.
First, she would administer a psychological battery of tests to all girls who played with her in order to ensure they aren’t being harmed by her image. After scoring all the ink blots and noting no real harm comes from playing with her, she would schedule breast reduction surgery in order to avoid incredible back pain as she ages.
Next, she would warn young girls about being too thin, reminding them that the thinness of her waist and hips creates physical problems. We all need some fat on our frames to keep the plumbing working well!
Barbie would then set up a nonprofit arm of Mattel that would donate proceeds of her sales to eating disorder research, and she would most likely convert the Dream House to a group home for troubled girls. Regular group therapy would be held there in order to help girls deal with unrealistic body image. Community seminars would explain her evolution into a doll with more sensible proportions.
Basically, if Barbie could speak, she would tell young girls, no one really looks like me so don’t even try! And we would call her, Redemptive Barbie!